METRO conserves natural resources, for example in its use of refrigerants and paper, its facilities management, and the running of its logistics fleet. The METRO environmental guidelines form the basis for our actions.
Our resource management also includes packaging. By 2018, we will have taken a critical look at how 10,000 own-brand products are packaged. Our aim is to reduce the environmental footprint of our packaging throughout its entire life cycle. It is also important to us that products and packaging materials are disposed of in an environmentally friendly fashion. At the end of their useful lives, we look at how raw materials can be reclaimed or disposed of with the minimum environmental impact.
Over the past 50 years, plastic production has rapidly increased from 15 million tonnes in 1964 to 322 million in 2015. Globally, between 5 to 13 million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans every year. If this trend continues by 2050 we would find more plastic in the oceans than fish in terms of weight.
Plastic pollution causes yearly the death of more than one1 million seabirds and fishes and more than 100,000 marine mammals. Plastic thrown into the ocean can take 100 years to degrade and break down into microplastic particles, which can be easily mistaken with plankton by fish, and therefore eat it. This means that microplastics can be trapped in the fish’s tissue, enter our food chain, and end up on our plates and impacts our health.
It is our responsibility to create as little waste as possible. METRO is committed to the transition to a more circular economy, in which products and materials circulate at their highest value towards zero waste. This leads to a new plastic economy, in which, we REUSE, REPAIR and RECYCLE, and more sustainable materials are developed and promoted. In developing the packaging of our own brand products, we aim not only to improve the customer experience, but also to reduce the impact in the environment during the whole lifecycle. Our own brand packaging is developed to save product (protection of quality, integrity and easy usage), time (easy identification and convenient handling), space (practical storage), and waste (easy and environmental safe disposal).
METRO Cash & Carry continually strives for own brand packaging solutions that leverage the 3R’s principles:
- REDUCE – To reduce the weight, the thickness, the dimension or the complexity of the packaging
- RECYCLE - To use recycled or recyclable material
- RENEW - To use renewable material